CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Using native plants that attract pollinators can have a variety of benefits for people and wildlife.
People wanting to learn more about what native plants are great for attracting pollinators can get information at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) free virtual program “Garden Tour for You and the Bees.” This online program will be 10-10:30 a.m. on Aug. 11 and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. This online program is designed for people ages 12 and up. People can register for this program at:
Native plants are good choices for landscaping whether you have a small plot in the city or a large acreage in the country. The butterflies, bees, and other pollinators that are seen at parks, nature centers, and other public areas can often be enticed to your backyard with the proper plantings. These plants often provide aesthetic benefits, too.
Having these plants in your backyard provides more than an opportunity to see pretty flowers and interesting insects, though. As people exert more pressure on the land, this alters or eliminates natural vegetation that pollinating insects need to survive. The efforts people make to enhance natural existing habitats or to create special habitats – even if it’s just a small front-yard butterfly garden – helps ensure that important pollination activities will continue to take place.
It’s hard to over-state the value of pollinating insects. A 2010 Cornell University study showed the pollinating activity of insects contributed $29 billion to the U.S. agricultural economy. Some experts speculate that as many as half of the world’s plant species would either completely disappear or decrease greatly in number if pollinating insects ceased to exist.
Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.
Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.